SENATE BILL 120
● The scope of practice for licensed Naturopathic doctors in Alaska does not reflect their education and training
● Alaskans suffer from:
- 1) some of the highest health care costs in the nation,
- 2) increasing prevalence of chronic and preventable disease
- 3) inadequate access to health care - particularly in rural areas
● health care costs are a key driver increasing Alaska’s budget
SB120 redefines the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors in Alaska to reflect their education and training. Among other things, the bill allow licensed practitioners to perform minor office procedures (surgeries) and issue vitamins, minerals and non-controlled substance prescription medications.
● Allowing naturopathic doctors to practice within the full scope of their training will immediately increase the number of primary care providers in Alaska. This will improve healt ar ccess, ncreas ompetitio h arke n el riv ow osts.
● Naturopathic doctors’ primary focus is on disease prevention, rather than symptom and medication management. In the long-run, this type of care save one or consumers, nsurer n h tat. It also decreases the utilization of health care (unnecessary ER visits, frequent med checks and follow up visits)
● In Alaska, naturopathic doctors have a mor imite cop ractic ha ther healt ar rovider lask it qua esse raining.
● Naturopathic doctors practice safely under this same scope in many other states.
● Regulating naturopathic doctors appropriately will encourag or oung practitioner ov lask and serve Alaskans. Naturopathic doctors qualify for Indian Health Service’s national loan repayment program aimed to increase access to remote Alaska but are unable to make use of this program due to the limited scope of practice.